By Dustin Zehner
Going to college is a big step in anyone’s life. Taking advantage of your resources is one of the most important things you can do. Understanding that bowling isn’t your first priority is also important. You go to college to get an education and becoming a better bowler is just icing on the cake. So here are some tips to picking/getting into the college that is best for you.
Know what you want to study
First and foremost, having an idea of what you want to is the most important component to deciding which school you want to go to. I recommend having at least having at least 4 or 5 schools to choose from. If the schools you are considering have the major you are looking for, consider looking into the placement rates into jobs for that major. Then compare the rates between the different schools.
Look at academic integrity
Academic integrity is very important when it comes to picking a school to go to. This is not only important for the quality of your education but it can also determine the quality of job you get after graduation. So think about what a degree from a certain school could mean to an employer.
Would breezing through an easy school be worth it to me after I graduate?
Do I want to work hard for my degree at a more difficult school?
When I was applying to schools, I knew that having a Purdue education and degree would really give me the upper hand in the job search. To me, a Purdue degree is an amazing thing to have for any situation.
Stay on track with your applications
When applying to school, it is often tough to stay committed to completing the applications as well as the essays (if required). Making sure you fill these out in a timely manner is crucial to getting accepted. After the application deadline hits, there’s no telling if you’ll be able to get in with late admission, so don’t rely on that. I had all of my applications in by the middle of October of my senior year.
As far as admissions goes, keep your eye out for any college bowling coaches. Don’t be afraid to go up and talk to them and get information about the school. Find out if they are a club school, NAIA, or other.
Prepping as a bowler
After you get accepted into the school of your choice, your next step as a bowler is to get your game at peak performance. Prepare for tryouts or for your season to start (depending on which school you attend). One thing to remember is that some schools do not give scholarships for bowling. I attend Purdue University and our club team does not give out scholarships for bowling; being a club team means we are self funded and have to raise the money ourselves to bowl.
3 Keys to Prepping for Your First College Tournament
Versatility is key
A college bowling tournament is unlike anything you have ever bowled before. Prepare yourself by practicing different releases as well as playing different parts of the lane with those different releases. Learning how to bowl on the “burn” is going to be very beneficial for your success in college bowling. Although it’s not something you can replicate to the fullest in practice, you can still work on being in front of the ball return or using the shim release.
Spare shooting is critical
In college bowling, spare shooting separates the good teams from the great teams. Being at least 95% on single pins and 80% on multi-pin spares is something you should consistently be able to accomplish. Being able to do this all relays back to practicing and really getting your reps in.
Having an open mind and good attitude
A lot of young bowlers don’t like to be told what to do. This can often times hurt a team’s morale as well as overall success. So if you don’t prepare yourself to have an open mind to learn it could ultimately affect your placement on your team. This also relates to being a good teammate. If you have a bad attitude, it could affect your team chemistry. Bonding with your teammates is something amazing. For me, the guys I have bowled with at Purdue, I consider to be brothers; which I am very grateful for.
College is a great time in your life and is beneficial to your life as you grow older. Getting an education is one of the best decisions you can ever make. If you decide to bowl, make sure that bowling is number two on your priorities list. We go to school to learn and that should be your first priority. Take advantage of these four years of your life, it is an amazing opportunity!!